On Tuesday, Kenneth convened a meeting of the Cross-Party Group on Life Sciences which focussed on the impact of Brexit on this vital sector, which employs over 37,000 people in Scotland both directly and indirectly.
Speakers included George Davidson, Director of External Relations for Devolved Nations at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). He highlighted the fact that GSK alone, which employs 14,000 people in the UK, 10% of whom are EU citizens, has spent a whopping £70 million on Brexit preparations.
Ivan McKee MSP, Minister for Trade, Investment and Innovation, confirmed that Scottish Enterprise and other agencies are working with life sciences companies to ensure their businesses are protected in every Brexit scenario.
Other speakers included Professor Andrew Tobin from the Scottish Universities Life Science Alliance who discussed how Brexit will impact on collaboration in the development of new medicines with a specific focus on dementia and anti-malarial research, and Professor Stuart Ralston from the Centre for Genomic and Experimental Medicine who shared that Brexit is likely to impact the speed at which patients receive newly developed drugs.
The meeting actually overran for 45 minutes because of the gravity of the threat of Brexit to this sector which contributes more than £5.2 billion of gross value added to the Scottish economy and the interest generated.
Businesses in any sector seeking support in making preparations for Brexit should visit Scottish Enterprise’s dedicated site: www.prepareforbrexit.scot .